Quaking aspen are trees that reproduce through the ground with what are called root suckers. As a result, you'll usually see several in the same area. Bob Danley noted this week that all those trees are identical - basically clones of the first tree. In fact, some "clusters" of quaking aspen in the Western US cover over 100 acres. An unusual feature is the tree trunk color which results from photosynthesis in the tree itself, outside of the leaves.

Quaking aspen bark can be a host for the Hooded Rosette lichen (see photo below), which have finger-like lobes shaped like a hood. Under that hood are the reproductive portions. Our strangest fungi this week is the Purple Jelly Drop. It's very small - about 2 to 4 inches. It can be found near rivers on downed hardwood (see photo below). The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal can be heard on KLYQ 1240 AM radio and klyq.com on Wednesday mornings between 7:30 and 8 a.m. during the Bitterroot Morning newscast. And visit Bob's website.

Hooded Rosette lichen. (Bob Danley photo)
Purple Jelly Drop fungi. (Bob Danley photo)